M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Thursday, August 28, 2003  

Afternoon Brake

While I was still working at my old job, it occurred to me that it might not be a bad idea to drop my car off at the Saturn dealership. Which, as I may have previously mentioned, is only one block away from my old office. There was nothing wrong with my car. I just figured that since I was about to start working at a location where we’re the only non-residence in a one-mile radius, I wouldn’t have the luxury of walking to work from a place that could fix my car, and therefore I should have it checked out while I had the chance, just to give it a tune-up and make sure nothing was about to go wrong with it.

Naturally, I never got around to dropping the car off. Do I even have to continue?

I suppose I should, just to be specific. The car’s not dead. It’s not even limping. But there’s this noise emanating from one of the driver’s side wheels. I don’t think it’s my brake pads wearing out, because I know what that sounds like. Also, the noise is intermittent, and it sometimes happens when I’m not applying the brakes at all. And it’s a little more nerve-grinding than the squeaker that’s supposed to let you know when it’s time to change your pads; it’s as if somebody installed an electric pencil sharpener in my axle.

So my car is whining for attention, and whereas last week I could have had the guys at Saturn fix whatever it is for seven thousand dollars without my missing a minute of work, now I have to come up with some other plan. And I don’t think much of my chances of getting a Saturn dealership built on the lot where the Nordemeyers are living right now. If I knew what it was, I wouldn’t mind waiting until the weekend. But I don’t; it could just be a twist-tie from a bread sack tangled in my wheel rotor, or it could be a catastrophe waiting to happen, some impending breakdown that’ll wrench my wheel to the right and send me hurtling off the Lake Street Bridge and into the Mississippi River while my windshield comes loose and beheads me a half-second before the fuel line shreds and turns me and my car into a midair conflagration of charred rubber and steel and bone.

And of course I notice this noise on my second day of work. Last week would have been better, of course. But even a couple of weeks from now would be preferable. Granted, I’m a writer now, and I don’t technically have a schedule, so it’s not like anyone’s pointedly glancing at their watch when I come and go. There’s really nothing stopping me from taking a half-day off to get my car fixed, and I probably wouldn’t even have to promise to write scripts longhand in the mechanic’s waiting room. There’s no reason I can’t take the time to deal with this.

No reason other than my wish to establish myself as a reliable employee before I do something flaky like vanish for an afternoon, that is. Creative types have a certain reputation, you know. That’s not something I want to add to.

Fortunately, Trash is coming to the rescue, as she so frequently does. She’s working from home on Friday, so I’ll be able to take her car to work. Meanwhile, she’ll take my car to a place in our neighborhood, walk home, and then go back with me to pick it up at the end of the day.

Assuming my front end doesn’t spontaneously crumple like one of the agents in Matrix Reloaded used it as a springboard between now and then, that is.

Today’s best search phrase: “Kicking across floor unsanitary victorian.” I’ll say.

posted by M. Giant 5:25 PM 0 comments


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